About brxnet.org weather station

The brxnet.org weather station uses a Maplin N96GY (aka Fine Offset WH1081). Local climate information is recorded on-site in the Sovereign Harbour area of Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK 24 hours a day. Data is logged onto a Raspberry Pi (running the Raspbian variety of Debian GNU/Linux) using pywws and then is transferred to the brxnet.org web server.

Information being recorded includes:

The station is approximately 3 metres above sea level in a sheltered situation among houses not far from the beach. It scores 2 stars on the MetOffice site ratings.

Data is also logged to the MetOffice and to WUnderground. Follow the links on the main weather page to access those sites.

Eastbourne Borough Council have got some monthly weather records going back to 2006 (and beyond in PDF format) published on their website for comparison. It seems that Sovereign Harbour was consistently warmer and drier than the town centre for all of 2012! But I guess we all knew that already. Sunshine Harbour.

History

1 January 2012 - In the beginning

Final elements of the brxnet.org weather station were installed in the early afternoon of New Year's Day 2012. The weather station was switched on and data logging began immediately afterwards. The first readings indicated it was raining heavily, the accuracy of which could be personally verified by the drenched operator.

Wed 1 October 2014 - Transmitter failure

In the early hours of Wednesday 1 October 2014 the transmitter unit on the N96GY weather station stopped transmitting data. This was a surprise because new batteries had been installed less than three weeks previously. Nevertheless, a new set of batteries was installed. Unfortunately this did not solve the problem.

When the new set of batteries was installed the red transmission LED inside the tranmitter unit came on and stayed on. This indicates a problem with the transmitter, and if it persists across repeated battery pulls (it did) then the received wisdom on several internet forums appears to be that the unit has failed for some reason. Normal behaviour is for the red LED to illuminate only while the transmitter is sending information to the USB display unit.

Thankfully, spare parts for the weather station are now available so it looks like I do not have to replace the entire unit, just swap out the offending transmitter. I am currently awaiting the arrival of the replacement part (N80NF at Maplin) which I expect to arrive mid-week. In the meantime I will post manual weather summaries as I get the chance!

Wed 15 October 2014 - Transmitter repair

So the new part arrived last week, except it didn't work with my base station. At first I thought it might be a problem with hardware versions and an incompatibilty between the older base station and the new transmitter, but an email conversation with Maplin's customer support established that was unlikely.

The very reasonable support rep I communicated with offered to send another replacement unit out to me so I could make sure the first one was not just dodgy. The replacement for the replacement arrived yesterday and appears to be in full working condition. Thank you Maplin!

Now to arrange for the return of the dodgy replacement...

Sat 1 August 2015 - Anemometer arm broken

One of the anemometer arms/cups has broken off. The breakage was noted over the weekend (1 August 2015) and a new part (N09QR) ordered. Repair expected to be completed by the end of the week. In the meantime, be aware we will be reporting wind speeds lower than actual.

Repair completed Saturday 8 August 2015 in between 17:00 and 18:00 hrs BST.

Mon 28 September 2015 - Collision with low-flying, high-speed football

At approximately 1745 BST on 28 September the brxnet.org weather station was involved in a high-speed collision with a football. All of the velocity was associated with the football up to the moment of impact, but bits of the weather station went flying immediately afterwards. The anemometer was broken (again), the rain gauge was detached from its arm, the arm itself was was snapped and the post on which the instruments are mounted was knocked off vertical. The football remains unscathed.

Repairs (involving screws, super glue, duct tape, and cable ties) were completed on 24 October and the weather station was connected back up fully on 29 October shortly before 1700 GMT. Given the extended outage it will take 24 hours or so for the graphs to start generating properly again, but data is being collected and the text summaries are available right now. A close eye is being maintained on the football propulsion unit.

Tue 29 November 2016 - Scientific endeavour

The brxnet.org weather station was referenced in a fascinating academic paper all about sea snails in the eastern English Channel by Russel Noke (Bournemouth University), "What is driving the range extension of Gibbula umbilicalis (Gastropoda, Trochidae) in the eastern English Channel?" Historic temperatures were used to establish the lowest air temperature since Jan 2012, which was -5.7°C in Feb 2012 at the time of publication.

Credits

Contact

If you'd like to get in touch you can send an email to an address formed by the single word topic of this section of my website AT brxnet.org